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Hohenstein: Our Constitution is Not a Flat Lifeless Piece of Paper

WHAT DOES FREEDOM LOOK LIKE TO YOU?  

(1 day ago)

It is the day after our Primary Election Day, one of the most partisan days of the year. Most folks in the middle are often left wondering whether anyone in power is interested in the greater good. In my work for the people of my neighborhoods in the 177th, my focus has always been on the basics: better jobs, better schools, and safer communities. It is easy to say, but not so easy to accomplish because the same words can mean different things to everyone. One of the words that has many different meanings is Freedom. Everyone agrees it is a fundamental principle of our life in the United States but we can’t come to a common definition. I have spoken before about the three dimensions of freedom : individual liberty, equality of liberty for the entire population, and a system of being accountable to each other when our rights collide. To me, the way I judge whether to support a particular expression of individual liberty is whether the people exercising it recognize its impact on others. I am concerned with a ‘me first’ approach that gives no consideration to the impact one right has on another. I am also concerned with a definition of freedom that does not account for the greater good. To me, freedom of speech and expression means everyone speaking their mind, but not closing minds by banning books. To me, economic freedom means fair wages, safe workplaces, and ensuring workers right to organize; not the ‘right to work’ Read more

 

Now open for applications: Substance use disorder, violence prevention, and suicide prevention funding opportunities

(May 13, 2022)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs: Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Loan Repayment Program (LRP) (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Eligible practitioners with the capacity to provide SUD treatment or SCA-funded case management services at approved practice site(s) and can demonstrate a minimum of two prior years of experience in the SUD field as well as a service commitment of two additional years. Use : To support the supply, distribution and retention of individuals delivering SUD treatment and SCA funded case management services. Funds : Varies by award. Application Deadline : May 26, 2022 More Information : Click on https://www.ddap.pa.gov/Documents/Funding%20documents/GIFA%2022-02%20LoanRepayment_applicationguidance.pdf . Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Enhancing Services to Culturally Specific Populations Program (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : A nonprofit organization for which the primary purpose of the organization as a whole is to provide culturally specific services to one or more of the following racial and ethnic communities: 1) American Indians (including Alaska Natives, Eskimos, and Aleuts); 2) Asian Americans; 3) Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders; 4) Blacks; and 5) Hispanics. Use : To establish, expand, or Read more

 

Philly Homestead Exemption saves you in property tax

(May 11, 2022)

Pennsylvania’s 2022 primary election will be held a week from today on Tuesday, May 17. I sincerely hope you exercise a most fundamental right in America, and vote! Read more

 

Roe draft opinion is troubling + Philly First Home program open

(May 04, 2022)

This week, a draft opinion from the Supreme Court of the United States was leaked in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson. This draft would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and, in the process, send a message to more than half of all Americans that they cannot control their own bodies; that they are second-class citizens, without access to safe, legal abortion. This decision is troubling, and the way it came to light is also troubling. Read more

 

Roe draft opinion is troubling

(May 03, 2022)

This week, a draft opinion from the Supreme Court of the United States was leaked in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson. This draft would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and, in the process, send a message to more than half of all Americans that they cannot control their own bodies; that they are second class citizens, without access to safe, legal abortion. This decision is troubling, and the way it came to light is also troubling. I believe that anyone who can become pregnant deserves access to care – including a safe abortion – as part of their fundamental human rights. I have always supported the right to choose, and I will continue to do so in the Pennsylvania legislature. I often say, that as a representative, it is my role to hear my constituents and amplify their voices, especially on issues where I may be the only person in power listening to them. In a male-dominated legislature, it is my obligation to listen to anyone who may become pregnant; respect what they say about their own health, bodies, and the choices they have to make in all aspects of health care; and give voice to their experiences and needs. On this issue, I stand with all people who assert the need for equal access to the full range of health care, including safe, legal abortion. The leak of this draft decision presents a second threat beyond the very real danger of cutting off health care access and control over a person’s own body. That threat is to the legitimacy of the Read more

 

Hohenstein: Cooperation is Key to Ending Gun Violence

(Apr 27, 2022)

The people of Philadelphia are living in fear, and they are looking for answers. The Inquirer recently reported on a Pew survey that found 70% of Philadelphians view community safety as the primary issue affecting the city. Here are some more numbers from the Philadelphia City Controller’s report on gun violence clearance rates and case outcomes that came out in 2020: just 37% of fatal shootings were cleared by the PPD. At the same time, the number of individuals arrested for illegal gun possession increased by more than 100% between 2015 and 2020. While gun possession arrests have drastically increased, conviction rates — the share of cases prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office that result in conviction — for gun possession declined. Between 2015 and 2020, the share of illegal gun possession cases resulting in conviction fell from 65% to 42%. The bottom line from the facts and figures is that our neighbors all across the city do not feel safe or protected by those of us that are entrusted with their wellbeing. Different communities have different relationships with law enforcement. For some the police mean security. For others cops and the system are something to be feared and distrusted. The solutions we craft need to incorporate these divergent attitudes and combine respect with common sense of change. And make no mistake, we need to provide solutions that are different from what we are doing now. If we don’t, fear will continue to Read more

 

Wistar receives state funding + primary voting dates to know

(Apr 21, 2022)

Last week, Governor Wolf announced funding totaling more than $11 million for 26 apprenticeship programs statewide. The Wistar Institute, in our community, earned one of the 26 awards, netting a $649,551 grant for its work in biosciences. Read more

 

Helping trans youth + another bad week for the environment

(Apr 14, 2022)

This week, the House majority passed a shameful bill to deny trans students the right to compete as their true selves in scholastic sports across Pennsylvania. Needless to say, I voted ‘no’ on the bill, even though H.B. 972 passed along party lines. Governor Tom Wolf will undoubtedly veto the bill should it reach his desk, but the House majority Republican political theater was hurtful enough for me to need to say something here. Read more

 

Hohenstein: Names have Meaning, they Define Who We Are

(Apr 11, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein discusses the inequality that members of the Trans Community face in the Commonwealth. He believes that all Pennsylvanians, especially members of the #TransCommunity, should have the ability to change their identities and names without going through a biased process. Read more

 

Fishing edition + detour coming to I-95 South at Betsy Ross Bridge

(Apr 05, 2022)

This week, I’d like to share with you information about fishing across PA and in our region. Trout season opened Saturday. Read on for all you need to know to get you excited and prepared for the season! Read more

 

Talking about fishing

(Apr 05, 2022)

This past Saturday my office joined with Riverfront North Partnership, fellow Rep. Mike Driscoll, and the Philadelphia 6 th Councilmanic Office to help clean up Lardner’s Point Park on the Delaware River. It was a brisk, cold, early Spring day – the day the PA Fish & Boat Commission designated for the Trout Opener. We did our work in the morning, getting trash from short dumping together and cleaning the area so people can continue to enjoy it. Around about noon, we celebrated the opening of an art installation by Rebecca Shultz of Tacony LAB. The combination of the river’s natural beauty and Rebecca’s artistic grace was something that brought joy to all in attendance. We left our worries and concerns and complaints at the riverside. We simply savored the sweetness of the water, the light sting of the wind, and absorbed the river’s sights and sounds. These are the moments that are the reason I requested appointment to the Fish & Game Committee. People deserve to have the river, the natural world, in their lives and at their fingertips. The 177 th has about four miles of the Delaware Riverfront and after re-districting we will have more than 6 miles. In my great-grandparents’ day, over a century ago, people had access to the river and its creeks and streams. They caught fish, like the prodigious sturgeon, caught in Frankford Creek near Thompson Street, pictured here. Today, we have only a few spaces to Read more

 

Changes are coming to the state, 177th Legislative District + Bill targeting trans athletes is mean spirited

(Mar 30, 2022)

This week in the House, majority Republicans from the Education Committee moved a mean-spirited bill to exclude trans athletes from playing and competing with their peers. Read more

 

Wolf, Hohenstein, Tartaglione Call on General Assembly to Provide Immediate Support to Small Businesses

(Mar 24, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, March 24 – Today, Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Representative Joseph Hohenstein, Senator Tina Tartaglione and local business leaders to call on Pennsylvania’s Republican-led General Assembly to immediately use $1.7 billion in unspent American Rescue Plan Act dollars to help Pennsylvania families and small businesses that are hurting right now from inflation and rising prices. “Families and businesses all across Pennsylvania are facing economic challenges as inflation goes up and prices rise right along with it. People all across Pennsylvania are hurting, but we have the money to help, and we need to spend it now,” said Gov. Wolf. “I am calling on the General Assembly to use Pennsylvania’s unspent American Rescue Plan Act dollars to help Pennsylvanians get back on their feet.” In February, Gov. Wolf proposed his $1.7 billion action plan. Today, he continues to call on the legislature to take immediate action on the proposal to put money back in the pockets of Pennsylvanians and put the commonwealth on the path to prosperity. The governor’s plan calls for $225 million to support small businesses across the commonwealth by recapitalizing the successful COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program. The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program would provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by the pandemic. Among Read more

 

Co-announcing a $225M legislative commitment + Apprenticeship program grant opportunities

(Mar 24, 2022)

I’m excited later this week to help co-announce a legislative pledge of $225 million to re-capitalize the COVID Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program. You can read more in my weekly column here, and I’ll bring you more news as it develops. Read more

 

Hohenstein: How can Harrisburg help the folks who do their budget at the kitchen table?

(Mar 23, 2022)

My parents are fiscal conservatives. They had to be. In the 1970s, they balanced supporting seven kids on my dad’s teacher’s salary of $35,000. There were many long nights at the kitchen table making ends meet – which bills to pay, which kid would get new shoes. Today’s families have it even tougher because while the cost of everything from childcare, to education, to rent is rising; wages and income stay put. For my neighbors in Philadelphia who have to put together a budget, whether its for their own business or for their own household, it has been raining for more than two years since the pandemic started. The Governor’s proposal to increase funding to the Small Business Assistance Program, the PA Opportunity Program, and other funding for low-income families addresses the fact that so many of us are under water and need a working-class bailout. Last year, Pennsylvania was given an opportunity to help its citizens come in from the rain, but instead they got soaked. The American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds from the federal government totaled $7.5 billion, and my legislative colleagues decided to stock that away into a rainy-day fund. This year, we still have the chance to fix that, and provide relief to the people and business who deserve it most. I am supporting Governor Wolf’s efforts to take just a fraction of the federal funds, $1.7 billion, and put them to work for us and our local economies, instead of leaving them to rot in a Read more

 

Pennie, for health care insurance, can be reached by checkbox on taxes

(Mar 17, 2022)

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and Pennie have teamed up to allow uninsured tax filers the ability to get health care coverage outside of Open Enrollment by indicating their interest when they complete their Pennsylvania state income tax return. Read more

 

Hohenstein: We're Here for You

(Mar 16, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein's local office is centrally located on Richmond St. in Bridesburg to be able to serve the many communities of the 177th Legislative District. Hohenstein and his staff are available to help with a variety of state services from PennDOT paperwork to utility assistance and so much more. He is working locally and in Harrisburg to lift up the communities of the River Wards and lower Northeast Philadelphia. Read more

 

War on Ukraine felt at home + Today is Women's Equal Pay Day

(Mar 15, 2022)

I have received numerous calls into my office from constituents (neighbors by another name) asking me to do what I can to help Ukrainians, and to help Poland, Moldova and other neighboring countries as they take in refugees. As an elected official, I cannot show favoritism towards any charitable cause, but I will say that for those looking to make donations and contributions, it is wise to look to organizations with a track record and those connected directly to refugee services. Read more

 

Hohenstein: What does being a neighbor mean to us?

(Mar 15, 2022)

"Won’t you be my neighbor?" As a kid watching Mr. Rogers, I took this question, and the answer it implied, very seriously. The lesson that everyone can be your neighbor, was ingrained in me from my family, school, and TV (we had a black and white that stopped at Channel 12 so I got a healthy dose of PBS). That lesson is the reason that my neighborhoods mean so much to me. It’s also the reason that events that happen in faraway places like the Ukraine matter to me. Those folks are my neighbors in a bigger sense. In my district, a place where Polish is probably the second language ahead of Chinese Mandarin and Spanish, many of my neighbors are even more connected to what is happening half a world away. I have received numerous calls into my office from constituents (neighbors by another name) asking me to do what I can to help the Ukrainians, and to help Poland, Moldova and other neighboring countries as they take in refugees. As an elected official, I cannot show favoritism towards any charitable cause, but I will say that for those looking to make donations and contributions, it is wise to look to organizations with a track record and those connected directly to refugee services. The requests coming into my office are from people who have personal experiences with the Soviet regime. They know firsthand what tyranny and oppression look and feel like. In the fleeing Ukrainian refugees they see themselves. Seeing someone else and recognizing yourself Read more

 

Youth trans athletes need encouragement, inclusion + PA ABLE Savings Program + Primary Voting Schedule

(Mar 08, 2022)

A PA ABLE Savings Program account gives individuals with qualified disabilities (eligible individuals) and their families and friends a tax-free way to save for a wide range of disability-related expenses, while maintaining government benefits. The state and federal tax-free investment options are offered to encourage Eligible Individuals and their families to save private funds to support health, independence, and quality of life. Read more

 

WHAT DOES FREEDOM LOOK LIKE TO YOU?  
1 day ago

Now open for applications: Substance use disorder, violence prevention, and suicide prevention funding opportunities
May 13, 2022

Philly Homestead Exemption saves you in property tax
May 11, 2022

Roe draft opinion is troubling + Philly First Home program open
May 04, 2022

Roe draft opinion is troubling
May 03, 2022

Hohenstein: Cooperation is Key to Ending Gun Violence
Apr 27, 2022

Wistar receives state funding + primary voting dates to know
Apr 21, 2022

Helping trans youth + another bad week for the environment
Apr 14, 2022

Hohenstein: Names have Meaning, they Define Who We Are
Apr 11, 2022

Fishing edition + detour coming to I-95 South at Betsy Ross Bridge
Apr 05, 2022

Talking about fishing
Apr 05, 2022

Changes are coming to the state, 177th Legislative District + Bill targeting trans athletes is mean spirited
Mar 30, 2022

Wolf, Hohenstein, Tartaglione Call on General Assembly to Provide Immediate Support to Small Businesses
Mar 24, 2022

Co-announcing a $225M legislative commitment + Apprenticeship program grant opportunities
Mar 24, 2022

Hohenstein: How can Harrisburg help the folks who do their budget at the kitchen table?
Mar 23, 2022

Pennie, for health care insurance, can be reached by checkbox on taxes
Mar 17, 2022

Hohenstein: We're Here for You
Mar 16, 2022

War on Ukraine felt at home + Today is Women's Equal Pay Day
Mar 15, 2022

Hohenstein: What does being a neighbor mean to us?
Mar 15, 2022

Youth trans athletes need encouragement, inclusion + PA ABLE Savings Program + Primary Voting Schedule
Mar 08, 2022